Sleep has been quite a production in our house the past nine months. Babe started sleeping through the night when she was around three months. But by that I mean sleeping a five hour stretch uninterrupted. (Boy was I shocked to learn that 5 hours was considered sleeping through in baby world.) She hit the four month sleep regression at about four and a half months but got over it in just a couple of weeks. And then everything was wonderful until she was about seven and a half months old, right around Thanksgiving when she started waking up three, four, sometimes five times every night.
We thought it was because we were visiting husbands family and not sleeping in our normal environment but we went home a few days laster and it didn’t get much better. For the next two months we fought sleep-deprivation and tried to maintain sanity. We started bringing Babe into our bed more often (she used to sleep in a co-sleeper next to our bed) but that didn’t seem to have much impact. We tried offering the boob many extra times in the hours leading up to bed. We tried offering her more finger food in the hours leading up to bed. We’d been using white noise since she was born so we tried to go without noise. We tried absolutely everything we could think of or read about online (short of sleep training because that goes against our parenting beliefs).
And then, after two months of near insanity, we found the cure completely by accident. Husband and I were attending a conference so we spent the weekend at a hotel and my Mom stayed in the room next to us to help with Babe. For the most part Babe slept surrounded by pillows on the second bed in my Moms room after falling asleep with her head on my Moms shoulder as my Mom walked her around. When we got home we were exhausted so Mom took baby duty once more. Babe fell asleep the same way, in Moms arms, Sunday night and then Mom laid her in the crib. Mom said that Babe cried out twice that night but just for a second (almost like talking in her sleep) and went immediately back to sleep when Mom gently rubbed her back.
There are a couple of things we think are at play. First, Mom always puts Babe to sleep tummy down. We always lay her on her back but she usually rolls onto her side or tummy and since she can roll back and forth, we’re OK with the way Mom is doing it. That’s the first thing we decided we needed to try.
Second, husband thinks Babe has outgrown the co-sleeper. He noticed that her arms touch the sides and he thinks that when she feels the walls while she moving around in her sleep it causes her to wake up. This was the main factor in our decision to move her into her crib (which meant moving her into her room).
My Mom was the only one that had mastered the art of getting Babe into bed on her tummy, Michael and I always end up laying her on her back, so that was the first thing we needed to practice. Also Babe insists on nursing whenever she sees me so I’m trying to convince Husband that he needs to be the only one to check on her of she makes a noise. I’m trying to make sure she eats enough during the day that she won’t be hungry at night. (Obviously, if she fully wakes up and starts crying, I will nurse her back to sleep.)
Monday night we gave it a try. I nursed Babe to sleep, husband was able to lay her in the crib on her tummy, she woke up twice and husband tried to comfort her but she needed me so I nursed her. Both times though Babe fell right back asleep and husband was able to lay her in the crib without waking her.
Last night we tried again and she didn’t wake up once! Husband and I both woke up a few times, briefly panicked that surely the monitor had broken and something was horribly wrong, and snuck in to check on her only to find that she was ok.
Husband just dropped my Mom off at the airport and now we’re on our own again but I think (and hope) we’ve mastered the art of transferring Babe into her crib. Wish us luck!
How did you transition your child into their own room?